Occupational Health Issues in Funeral Work: A Study of Dom Caste in Varanasi City, Uttar Pradesh

  • Sarita KumariEmail author
  • Nemthianngai Guite


Dom community belongs to a marginalized section of Hindu society. Their preliminary work is to engage in the last rites of Hindu cultures by burning the corpses. The notion of purity and pollution is the core of Hindu religious life, where hereditary occupations of the peoples are assigned by their birth, which determines their ascribed status in the society. Thus, both religious practices along with purity and pollution notion of the caste system foster these funeral workers to work in the informal sector of India. The work of burning the corpses is a challenging task, which includes several risk factors directly impacting their health status. The paper tries to capture the challenges encountered by Dom funeral workers in the unorganized sector.


Funeral workers Caste-based occupations Occupational health hazards 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health, School of Social SciencesJawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Jawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia

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